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New election commissioner appointed for Sedgwick County

July 16, 2021 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ top elections official has appointed a local government manager to run elections in Sedgwick County.

Secretary of State Scott Schwab on Friday announced the appointment of Angela Caudillo as election commissioner. He said Caudillo has “an established relationship” with county government and “a strong background” in local government operations.

Caudillo previously was administrative manager and office manager in the Sedgwick County clerk’s office. The county is home to the state’s largest city of Wichita and is the second most populous county, behind Johnson County.

Schwab told departing Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman in January that he would not reappoint her to another four-year term when her current one expires next week. His move provoked sharp criticism and raised questions about the decades-old Kansas law that has the secretary of state appoint election commissioners for the state’s four most populous counties when the other 101 counties have elected clerks administer elections.

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Lehman lost her job for remotely accessing the state’s voter registration database when working from home while fighting cancer during the coronavirus pandemic. Schwab has said all election officials in the state were told not to access that database remotely.